Collective Custom Build

Not enough homes are being built in the UK to meet needs, while a small number of volume house-builders deliver quantities of generic housing in chunks as long as the market is booming. But what happens when people get together and think about what they need - rather than what the house-builders want to give them? Can we re-prioritise liveability over short-term profit? In other countries, it is relatively common for people to build their own homes and for self-provision to represent a viable procurement route for housing. 

Carried out in collaboration with the architecture school of the University of Sheffield, our practice-based research project presented a model for how people in the UK might engage collectively in the production of housing and demonstrated that the aspiration of building your own home is not just for the well-off. The outcome was a report, Motivating Custom Build, and an animated website, which provides a rich and lively online resource for people who want to get together and build their own homes.

Read more about the thinking behind this project:


Cristina Cerulli, Fionn Stevenson and Sam Brown - School of Architecture, University of Sheffield

Home Improvements Knowledge Exchange

David Birkbeck - Design for Homes Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Web Design: Sam Brown with Hush

Animation: Ash Sakula with Wrench & Franks